103 kids in foster care in region
HIQA conducted an inspection of the Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan foster care service, located in Tusla's West region, from 28 to 31 of January 2019.
Of the six standards assessed one standard was compliant, two standards were substantially compliant, and three standards were found to be non-compliant, of which one was identified as major non-compliant and two as moderate non-compliances.
At the time of the inspection there were 103 children in foster care in the Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan area. Of these, 26 children were placed with relatives and the remaining 77 children were placed with general foster carers, one of whom was placed with foster carers from a private provider.
Children who met with or spoke to inspectors felt safe and were happy and well cared for in their placements. They also felt happy about their contact with family members. Children described good relationships with their social workers and foster carers. Young adults spoke positively about the aftercare service and felt that they were receiving sufficient support to prepare them for adult life.
Social workers coordinated the care of children, ensured that care plans were implemented, and visited the children in their homes.
However, inspectors found that, during the two years prior to this inspection, seven children were not visited within the timeframes set out in the regulations. Social workers were responsible for maintaining records of the service provided to children, but inspectors found that some case notes and records of home visits had not been completed. The electronic system used to manage children's records was lacking in functionality and social workers found it complex to navigate.